Co-trainer Michael Hawkes has confirmed that the 2014 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington is the preferred option for promising stayer Entirely Platinum this weekend.
Entirely Platinum was included in the nominations for both the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and is set to be included in the acceptances for both events, but Hawkes told Racing Ahead that he would prefer to see the Pentire gelding remain in Melbourne for the Group 1 event.
“We will just wait and see what accepts, but obviously he is in Melbourne and that is the way that we would like to go,” Hawkes said.
“His last start was super, he only just got beaten, and if he had won last time he would have been in the Caulfield Cup.
“It is going to be a tough race on Saturday at this stage looking towards the Turnbull Stakes.
“We are just waiting to see at the moment and obviously he is down in the ballot.
“At the end of the day we might accept in the Craven Plate here as well and we will take that option.
“It is about horses being in the right races and trying to go forward.”
Entirely Platinum started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a comfortable win in the Canterbury Hurlstone RSL Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 16, but finished at the tail of the field after being well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 6.
The five-year-old was only narrowly denied ballot exempt entry into the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) when he finished second behind Gris Caro in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and Hawkes believes that Entirely Platinum would have run the race if he had found a bit more space coming around the final turn.
“He is a free-wheeling sort of horse and you have got to let him roll,” Hawkes said.
“He was in an awkward spot and then he does hit a flat spot, but when he gets out and gets rolling he takes a big stride, so obviously a big track will suit him a lot better.
“He has done well and we are very happy with him all going forward.”
Acceptances for the Turnbull Stakes close at 10am this morning and the final field and barrier draw will be released shortly afterwards.